The privacy of your data—and it is your data, not ours!—is a big deal to us. In this policy, we lay out: what data we collect and why; how your data is handled; and your rights with respect to your data. We promise we never sell your data: never have, never will.
This policy applies to all products built and maintained by Spinal.
What we collect and why
Our guiding principle is to collect only what we need. Here’s what that means in practice:
Identity & access
When you sign up for a Spinal product, we ask for identifying information such as your email address, and a company name. That’s so you can personalize your new account, and we can send you product updates and other essential information. We may also send you optional surveys from time to time to help us understand how you use our products and to make improvements. With your consent, we will send you our newsletter and other updates. We sometimes also give you the option to add a profile picture that displays in our products.
We’ll never sell your personal information to third parties, and we won’t use your name or company in marketing statements without your permission either.
If you sign up for a paid Spinal product, you will be asked to provide your payment information and billing address. Credit card information is submitted directly to our payment processor and doesn’t hit Spinal’s servers. We store a record of the payment transaction, including the last 4 digits of the credit card number, for purposes of account history, invoicing, and billing support. We store your billing address so we can charge you for service, calculate any sales tax due, send you invoices, and detect fraudulent credit card transactions. We occasionally use aggregate billing information to guide our marketing efforts.
We store on our servers the content that you upload or receive or maintain in your Spinal product accounts. This is so you can use our products as intended, for example, to create content or to send comments. We keep this content as long as your account is active. If you delete your account, we’ll delete the content within 60 days.
For most of our products, we log the full IP address used to sign up a product account and retain that for use in mitigating future spammy signups. We also log all account access by full IP address for security and fraud prevention purposes, and we keep this login data for as long as your product account is active.
We collect information about your browsing activity for analytics and statistical purposes such as conversion rate testing and experimenting with new product designs. This includes, for example, your browser and operating system versions, your IP address, which web pages you visited and how long they took to load, and which website referred you to us. If you have an account and are signed in, these web analytics data are tied to your IP address and user account until your account is no longer active. The web analytics we use are described further in the Advertising and Cookies section.
Advertising and Cookies
Spinal runs contextual ads on various third-party platforms such as Google, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Users who click on one of our ads will be sent to the marketing site. Where permissible under law, we may load an ad-company script on their browsers that sets a third-party cookie and sends information to the ad network to enable evaluation of the effectiveness of our ads, e.g., which ad they clicked and which keyword triggered the ad, and whether they performed certain actions such as clicking a button or submitting a form.
We also use persistent first-party cookies and some third-party cookies to store certain preferences, make it easier for you to use our applications, and perform A/B testing as well as support some analytics.
A cookie is a piece of text stored by your browser. It may help remember login information and site preferences. It might also collect information such as your browser type, operating system, web pages visited, duration of visit, content viewed, and other click-stream data. You can adjust cookie retention settings and accept or block individual cookies in your browser settings, although our apps won’t work and other aspects of our service may not function properly if you turn cookies off.
When you email Spinal with a question or to ask for help, we keep that correspondence, including your email address, so that we have a history of past correspondence to reference if you reach out in the future.
We also store information you may volunteer, for example, written responses to surveys. If you agree to a customer interview, we may ask for your permission to record the conversation for future reference or use. We will only do so with your express consent.
When we access or share your information
To provide products or services you’ve requested. We use some third-party subprocessors to help run our applications and provide the Services to you. We also use third-party processors for other business functions such as managing newsletter subscriptions, sending customer surveys, and providing our company storefront.
No Spinal human looks at your content except for limited purposes with your express permission, for example, if an error occurs that stops an automated process from working and requires manual intervention to fix. These are rare cases, and when they happen, we look for root cause solutions as much as possible to avoid them recurring. We may also access your data if required in order to respond to legal process (see “When required under applicable law” below).
To exclude you from seeing our ads. Where permissible by law and if you have a account, we may share a one-way hash of your email address with ad companies to exclude you from seeing our ads.
To help you troubleshoot or squash a software bug, with your permission. If at any point we need to access your content to help you with a support case, we will ask for your consent before proceeding.
To investigate, prevent, or take action regarding restricted uses. Accessing a customer’s account when investigating potential abuse is a measure of last resort. We want to protect the privacy and safety of both our customers and the people reporting issues to us, and we do our best to balance those responsibilities throughout the process. If we discover you are using our products for a restricted purpose, we will take action as necessary, including notifying appropriate authorities where warranted.
Your rights with respect to your information
At Spinal, we strive to apply the same data rights to all customers, regardless of their location. Some of these rights include:
- Right of Access. This includes your right to access the personal information we gather about you, and your right to obtain information about the sharing, storage, security and processing of that information.
- Right to Correction. You have the right to request correction of your personal information.
- Right to Erasure / “To Be Forgotten”. This is your right to request, subject to certain limitations under applicable law, that your personal information be erased from our possession and, by extension, from all of our service providers. Fulfillment of some data deletion requests may prevent you from using Spinal services because our applications may then no longer work. In such cases, a data deletion request may result in closing your account.
- Right to Complain. You have the right to make a complaint regarding our handling of your personal information with the appropriate supervisory authority.
- Right to Restrict Processing. This is your right to request restriction of how and why your personal information is used or processed, including opting out of sale of personal information. (Again: we never have and never will sell your personal data.)
- Right to Object. You have the right, in certain situations, to object to how or why your personal information is processed.
- Right to Portability. You have the right to receive the personal information we have about you and the right to transmit it to another party.
- Right to not Be Subject to Automated Decision-Making. You have the right to object to and prevent any decision that could have a legal or similarly significant effect on you from being made solely based on automated processes. This right is limited if the decision is necessary for performance of any contract between you and us, is allowed by applicable law, or is based on your explicit consent.
- Right to Non-Discrimination. We do not and will not charge you a different amount to use our products, offer you different discounts, or give you a lower level of customer service because you have exercised your data privacy rights. However, the exercise of certain rights may, by virtue of your exercising those rights, prevent you from using our Services.
Many of these rights can be exercised by signing in and updating your account information.
If you have questions about exercising these rights or need assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Spinal, Keurenplein 41, room E85, Amsterdam, 1069CD The Netherlands. If an authorized agent is corresponding on your behalf, we will need written consent with a signature from the account holder before proceeding.
How we secure your data
All data is encrypted via SSL/TLS when transmitted from our servers to your browser. The database backups are also encrypted. In addition, we go to great lengths to secure your data at rest.
What happens when you delete content in your product accounts
In many of our applications, we give you the option to trash content. Anything you trash in your product accounts while they are active will be kept in an accessible trash can for about 3 days (it varies a little by product). After that time, the trashed content cannot be accessed via the application and we are not able to retrieve it for you. The trashed content may remain on our active servers for another 30 days, and copies of the content may be held in backups of our application databases for up to another 30 days after that. Altogether, any content trashed in your product accounts should be purged from all of our systems and logs within 90 days.
If you choose to cancel your account, your content will become immediately inaccessible and should be purged from our systems in full within 60 days. This applies both for cases when an account owner directly cancels and for auto-canceled accounts.
Location of site and data
Our products and other web properties are operated in The Netherlands. App server, database and related data may be stored on servers outside of The Netherlands.
Changes & questions
We may update this policy as needed to comply with relevant regulations and reflect any new practices. Whenever we make a significant change to our policies, we will refresh the date at the top of this page and take any other appropriate steps to notify users.
Adapted from the Basecamp open-source policies / CC BY 4.0